Customer Service in Grameenphone Limited

The principle objective of this report is to analysis Customer Service in Grameenphone Limited. General objectives of this reports are to examine the customer service units in GrameenPhone Ltd. and their working area, to know about the payment and recharge method in GrameenPhone Ltd, to understand the products and services and also value added services given by GrameenPhone Ltd and to learn and discuss about the automated tools used in GrameenPhone Ltd. to serve customers.

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE AT GRAMEENPHONE

With the increased importance being laid on customer satisfaction in today’s business climate, many companies today are focusing on the notion of customer satisfaction and loyalty as the key to increasing market share and enhancing bottom line results.  A company that enjoys a high customer satisfaction and thus a higher customer loyalty also enjoys a competitive advantage and a corporate profitability. Today, companies need to hold on to every customer. It is a lot easier to retain and expand existing relationships than acquire new business. Customer satisfaction and loyalty management systems not only point out customer problems but lead the way towards solutions.

As GrameenPhone is a service oriented company, it always aims to retain it’s customers through quality customer service. Even though customer loyalty is possible through customer relationship management, there is always room for customer dissatisfaction, which hampers customer loyalty. Hence, in order to maintain loyalty it is very important to maintain a good relationship with the customer.

The telecommunication industry is becoming more and more competitive in Bangladesh and customer service is the main player in this fast growing industry. Mobile companies are also giving highest priority in the customer service area. Call rates and SIM prices are reducing dramatically because of the increasing competition among the operators. At present all the operators have wide network coverage throughout the country and the call rate they are offering is also more or less the same. Under the above circumstances customer service is the most distinguishing factor for the mobile companies in order to survive in the competition.

The Customer Service Department of GrameenPhone Ltd. provides a full range of after-sales service customized to the needs of the valued customers. Efforts are made to offer complete service through all the contact points dedicated for GrameenPhone customers at every opportunity through Call Management Center, Customer Centers, GrameenPhone Service Desks (GPSD), GrameenPhone Centers (GPC) and Customer Communication. The trained team of Customer Service Department strives to ensure service with an aim to content the subscribers through “You First” attitude and solution. Their strategy is to connect Bangladesh with “Ease & Care” at every contact through professional and pro-active service.

 

 CALL MANAGEMENT CENTER

The centralized Call Management Center in Dhaka is manned by trained professionals and is open round-the-clock, responding to subscribers’ queries from all over the country where GrameenPhone has its coverage. GrameenPhone Ltd has recently introduced a single dedicated hotline number 121 for all of its subscribers to provide instant service. At present there are more than 450 dedicated and energetic employees are working to provide instant over phone service to the subscribers. Call Management Center is well equipped with state of the art software’s and other important tools through which most of the problems of the subscribers can be solved instantly. Call Management Center remains open 365 days a year and 24 hours a day.

Recently GrameenPhone introduced dialect based hotline for the first time in the region, to provide more customized service to its subscribers. Through this innovative service GP subscribers can communicate with the Customer Managers at their own dialect. At present GP provide services through all the major dialects of the country- Chittagong, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Khulna and Barisal.

 

CUSTOMER CENTER

The Customer Centers offer various after-sales service like SIM Replacement, Reconnection, Bill Payment, Address Change, Migration, Ownership change etc that requires physical presence of the subscriber. At present the eight (8) centers are conveniently located in the 6 divisional cities where the valued subscribers have easy accessibility to walk-in and get personalized and pro-active service. The Customer Centers of Grameen Phone remains open 7 (seven) days a week from 8 AM to 7 PM.

 

GRAMEENPHONE CENTER (GPC)

GrameenPhone Center (GPC) is the most recent innovation of GrameenPhone with the aim to provide all kinds of mobile phone related services to its subscribers. For the first time in Bangladesh subscribers will get both SIM and handset related services from the GrameenPhone Centers. So far Grameen Phone introduced 39 well decorated GPC in the country. All these GPC are not only providing after sales services but also working as the main sales channel of the company. Within each GPC there is a separate section allocated for selling and repairing handsets at an affordable cost. GrameenPhone Centers are open from 08:00 AM to 07:00 PM everyday.

 

 GRAMEENPHONE SERVICE DESK (GPSD)

Previously people at the rural areas had to come in the major cities to get customer service, which is a real hassle and time consuming process for them. To solve this problem GrameenPhone introduced Service Desk with a vision to provide service at the rural and remote areas. At present GrameenPhone have total 607 Service Desk around the country through which it provide service at grass root level. All these GPSD remain open from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM in five days a week.

 

CUSTOMER COMMUNICATION

The centralized Customer Communication located in Dhaka, handles written requests of subscribers, both verbally and in writing 7 (seven) days a week from 8 AM to 8 PM. Customer Communication deals with all sorts of written complain received through fax, letter by post and e-mail. It also builds relationship with the valued subscribers on a regular basis. The major responsibility of the unit is to maintain relationship with the high users and ensure that the present subscribers are not going to switch to other operator.

 

 TRAVELERS TO CUSTOMER

“Travelers to Customer” is another recent addition of service in Customer Service Department which is also the first time of its kind in the country. The major responsibility of this unit is to provide service at the customer’s doorstep with the slogan of “Let’s not expect the customers to travel to get the service rather let service travel to the customers”. Currently it’s providing service in the major cities of the country and to the high volume users of GrameenPhone. OUTBOUND CALLING CENTER

Outbound Calling Center is another addition of innovative service of Customer Service Department. A group of young, energetic and well trained employees are working in Outbound Calling Center and they are responsible to call back the subscriber to get feedback about the service quality. One of the major responsibilities of the unit is to identify all the dissatisfied customer and try to bring them back so that they stay with GrameenPhone. Moreover the unit is also responsible to provide service to all those subscribers who have repeatedly accessed hotline, with the same kind of problem. In this way outbound calling center plays a major role in holding the existing subscribers.

 

CORPORATE CUSTOMER CENTER

The Corporate Customer Center aims to provide quality customer service to the country’s preferential business customers. A professionally trained team is dedicated to provide After Sales Services and Solutions customized to the need of the business customers and initiate pro-active visits as a part of routine contact to look into the needs with an aim to build long-term professional relationships. Their professional customer care team is available to help seven days a week, 365 days of the year – whether for general queries, or to assist with any problems subscribers may possibly face. Their dedicated relationship managers are assigned to provide personalized service right from the beginning of the relationship.

 

PRODUCTS & SERVICES GRAMEENPHONE

GrameenPhone offers a wide range of products and services based on the demand of the subscribers. Currently GrameenPhone is offering seven different products which are designed to fulfill the demand of the various customer segments. Moreover they frequently modify their product offerings and add more attractive features according to the customer expectations. In this regard, GrameenPhone recently offered four brand new products named- Smile M2M, Smile PSTN, Xplore P1 and Xplore P2, to fulfill the changing expectation of the subscribers. All the existing Easy Pre-Paid, Easy Gold, GP National and GP Regular subscribers were automatically migrated to Smile M2M, Smile PSTN, Xplore P1 and Xplore P2 respectively.

At present there are seven different GP products which are available in the market. The whole product line of GrameenPhone is divided in to two broad categories. These are: Pre-Paid & Post Paid. Among these two categories Pre-Paid products are more popular than the Post-Paid products. Currently in total 12,071,319 subscribers are using GrameenPhone’s Pre-Paid products and the rest of 576,462 subscribers are using the Post-Paid products.

 

GRAMEENPHONE’S POST-PAID PRODUCTS

Post-paid products are quite different in nature than pre-paid. In case of post-paid, subscribers receive a monthly bill which is based on his usage throughout the month. In addition subscribers have to pay a fixed monthly line rent for his connection. However postpaid subscribers are allowed to use their phone first and pay at the end of the month but there is a certain credit limit assigned with every SIM card by the service provider. If subscriber’s usage cross the limit before the billing date then his connection is temporarily become disconnected. All the GP post paid connection has a default credit limit of 500TK. But subscribers can increase their credit limit by paying in advance as security deposit .GrameenPhone currently offering two different post-paid products to the subscribers. These are:

Xplore

These postpaid products have different features, attributes and tariff plan, so that customers can choose the appropriate product according to their requirement.

Xplore P

Xplore P is a new post-paid product with BTTB (Local, NWD, ISD and Economy ISD) connectivity. Other attractive features of this product are both way BTTB access Local, NWD and ISD facility, free BTTB incoming, 30 seconds pulse from the 1st minute, Economy ISD calling facility, Friends & Family options for 3 GP numbers, International Roaming facility and many more. Moreover there are some new value added services included for Xplore P1 subscribers such as SMS Roaming, Breakfast News, Pre- activated EDGE etc. Beside this there is an attractive start up offer with every new Xplore P1 connection

BUSINESS SOLUTION

The GP Business Solutions is an integrated telecommunications service specially designed for the business entities of Bangladesh, providing customized telecommunications solutions through a consultative approach, tailored to the needs of individual businesses. Comprising of modern mobile telecommunications services for any business needs, the GP Business Solutions provides voice, text messaging and mobile data and internet services. Also on offer will be a complete Mobile-Office Solution, including Mobile Email, Mobile High-Speed Data Access, Internet Access, Mobile Fax and more, providing the freedom to work from anywhere within GrameenPhone wide coverage area.

The Business Solutions offers a suite of specialized products and services providing complete communication solutions for professionals, small to medium sized enterprises and large corporations, enabling them to increase their efficiency, productivity and gain a competitive edge.

SIM PRICE

GrameenPhone offers their various products in a very competitive price in the market. Current price of the various GrameenPhone products are given below:

PRODUCTSSIM PRICES
Smile M2MTK 150
Smile PSTNTK 300
DjuiceTK 150
Xplore PTK 800
Business Solution Pre-PaidTK 400
Business Solution Post-PaidTK 400

 

THANK YOU PROGRAM

A GrameenPhone connection is not just simply a mobile connection; it is the beginning of a new relationship. Since the start of operations in 1997, GP believe that a special relationship is formed with each new connection, a time-nurtured attachment that deepens with every call the customers make and receive. Thank You is GrameenPhone’s way of expressing their gratitude because their customers’ loyalty touched them and also made them the preferred mobile operator in country. Their Thank You program provides customers with a number of rewards that will make their mobile phone experience with GP even more satisfying. Under Thank You Program GrameenPhone shows their gratitude to the customers in three different ways:

  • SMS Discount
  • Thank You Crown

SMS Discount

With Thank You SMS Discounts, GP provides shopping surprises to the customers with every SMS. Through Thank You Discount GP customers can shop with any one of Thank You Partners and send an SMS (with the store code) at the cash counter and receive an immediate discount at the store. At present there are more than 300 Thank You Partner locations available including selected national and foreign hospitals. Active GrameenPhone subscribers can avail benefits from the Thank You Partners upon using their GP connections for at least 180 days.

Thank You Crown

GrameenPhone offers the prestigious Thank You crown membership to especially cater to their valued subscribers. To enrich their life, GP offers premium services and exclusive discounts. Thank You crown membership offers customers special personal service and care. Whenever they experience any problems, they can get prompt and on the spot solution simply dialing 121. GP’s dedicated customer manager will promptly attend to their needs and resolve their difficulty. Crown members also enjoy exceptional service at all GrameenPhone customer touch-points. They just need to introduce themselves with their GrameenPhone number and put their feet up! Customer Managers will take care of their problem while they are relaxing.

Moreover, Crown members can enjoy a wide variety of wonderful discounts with their Thank You Crown Membership at various exclusive local and international Thank You Crown Partners. As an esteemed Crown Member, they will enjoy special discounts at Seagull Hotel of Cox’s Bazaar as well as various International Hospitals, including Bangkok Medical Centre, Thailand and The Raffles Hospital, Singapore, with many more to come. They will also enjoy wonderful discounts at more than 200 Thank You partner locations in Bangladesh.

MEMBERSHIPAVG MONTHLY USAGE OVER LAST 6 MONTHSHOME SERVICEDISCOUNT ON SIM REPLACEMENT
PLATINUMBDT 6500 & ABOVEEarliest Available Time100%
GOLDBDT 4500 TO 6500N/A75%
SILVERBDT 2500 TO 4500N/A50%

Table: Thank You Crown Membership Criteria

Based on average monthly usage, membership would be reassigned after every three months from last status change.

COMMUNITY INFORMATION CENTER (CIC)

Set up with technical assistance from the GSM Association, the GrameenPhone Community Information Centers (GPCICs) are equipped with the minimum of a computer, a printer, a scanner, a web cam and an EDGE-enabled modem to access the Internet using the EDGE connectivity.

The GPCICs are designed to be run independently as small businesses by local entrepreneurs. The GPCICs are set up on shared premises in select rural areas around the country. The computers in the 16 centers of the pilot phase were used by an average of 30 people a day, who pay a small fee to access E-mail or Web pages. Currently there are 80 CICs operating in as many Upazilas of the country.

Beneficiaries use the centers for a wide variety of business and personal purposes, from accessing health and agricultural information to using government services to video conferencing with relatives overseas. GrameenPhone trains the entrepreneurs so that they become aware of the full potential of business through GPCIC.

To help the entrepreneurs to earn more Community Information Centers also provide local people with other GrameenPhone services, such as payphones (again using GrameenPhone’s mobile network) and electronic recharges for prepaid mobile accounts.

Through GPCIC from the Government websites, access to passport forms, birth and death certificates forms and other related information are available. Market prices of agricultural produce are also available through the website of the Agricultural Extension Department.

The GPCICs are also of help to students and professionals for gathering reports and news suiting their requirements. Information relating to local and foreign job search sites is available at the centers. Many services which would continue to remain beyond the reach of an individual in rural areas would now be available at the GrameenPhone Community Information Centers.

Health and medical information will also be made available through the GPCICs soon. In addition, other useful content will also be added gradually. The ranges of services that are available at GPCICs include:

  • Internet surfing and E-mailing;
  • Chatting with Voice, Picture;
  • Video Conferencing;
  • Computer Composing;
  • Scanning, Printing, Fax & CD Writing;
  • Commercial Mobile Call;
  • E-governance Services;
  • GP Value Added Services such as FlexiLoad, Ring Tones Downloading etc;
  • Telemedicine Services;
  • Content on Health & Agriculture;
  • Multimedia Education for Children;
  • Directory Services

GrameenPhone is rolling out Community Information Centers across rural Bangladesh, giving up to 20 million people the chance to use the Internet and E-mail for the first time. GrameenPhone is teaming up with local entrepreneurs to set up approximately 500 centers in communities throughout the country by the end of 2007.

GrameenPhone has delivery partners such as Grameen Telecom Corporation and Society for Economic & Basic Advancement (SEBA); that are involved in site and entrepreneur selection. GrameenPhone takes care of training, marketing and logistic support. GrameenPhone also provides the GSM infrastructure and the initial services. The micro-financing partners, if required, provide small loans to entrepreneurs who render the services to the local rural community. It takes around USD 1000 to establish a GPCIC. An expected revenue of USD 6-7 per day would make a GPCIC financially viable and it would reach break-even in about a year’s time.

 

PAYMENT & RECHARGE METHODS

GrameenPhone always try to bring the best of communication services for their customers. They always listen to customer needs closely, so that they can serve better. To reflect that commitment, they want to reduce the hassles of paying bills. Therefore, the valued customers can pay their bills through any of the following methods:

  •  FlexiLoad
  •  Scratch Card Recharge
  •  Auto-Debit Facility

FLEXILOAD

To reflect GP’s continuous commitment towards providing customers with superior services, they brought FlexiLoad for the valued customers. It allows customers to pay their bills without any hassle and inconvenience. GP offers two types of FlexiLoad facilities. These are:

  • FlexiLoad for Prepaid
  • FlexiLoad for Postpaid

FlexiLoad for Prepaid

GP subscribers can reload their pre-paid account anytime with FlexiLoad with any amount between TK 10 to TK10000. To reload their pre-paid account customers need to visit any of the nearest GrameenPhone authorized scratch card retail outlets or Points of Sale displaying the FlexiLoad sign. They can choose any amount between TK 10 to TK 10000 make the payment to the retailer and the retailer will instantly reload their account from his mobile handset. After a successful reload, customers will receive instant confirmation on their mobile handset through SMS.

The validities of recharge through FlexiLoad for pre-paid products are:

RECHARGE DENOMINATIONVALIDITY
TK 10 To TK 29930 Days (Both Incoming & Outgoing)
TK 300 To TK 10,000365 Days (Both Incoming & Outgoing)

FlexiLoad for Postpaid

For the first time in Bangladesh, GP introduced the innovative electronic bill payment system FlexiLoad, for their valued Post-Paid subscribers. All the postpaid subscribers have the freedom to pay their bill of any amount starting from TK 50 to TK 50,000 at any time of the day. They don’t need to face a long queue or miss the time to the bill payment at the Bank. Moreover, barred phones will be automatically unbarred within a few minutes of paying bill through the FlexiLoad system.

To pay GP post-paid bill through this system, subscribers need to visit their nearest GrameenPhone authorized FlexiLoad retail outlets or Point of Sale with the FlexiLoad Post Paid signage. Upon choosing any amount between TK 50 to TK 50000 customers provide their phone number to the retailer, the retailer will initiate the bill payment process from his mobile phone handset. After successful completion of the payment, both the customer and the retailer will receive a confirmation SMS. Once subscribers received the SMS their bill have been paid. Post-paid subscribers of GrameenPhone namely Xplore P1, Xplore P2 and Business Solutions subscribers can enjoy this FlexiLoad service.

SCRATCH CARD RECHARGE

GP prepaid subscribers can recharge their connection easily and conveniently by using scratch cards. Validity of a scratch card depends on the value of that scratch card. When the validity period is over, the mobile will become inactive for making and receiving calls. But they will be able to recharge their account at any point of time. Scratch cards denomination, validity & grace period for incoming calls are:

RANGEVALIDITYGRACE PERIOD (INCOMING ONLY)
TK 503 Days~~~
TK 300365 Days7 Days
TK 600365 Days7 Days

AUTO DEBIT FACILITY

GrameenPhone offers their customers an extensive bill collection network in cooperation with different banks and financial institutions. GP subscribers can pay all types of GP charges through these banks during banking hours. Some of the banks have electronic payment options where payment can be made at any convenient time.

PAYMENT METHODDESCRIPTION
Bill CopyCan pay bill through the Bill Copy in GP enlisted banks.
Deposit SlipCan pay bill, security deposit, and other fees through GP Deposit Slips available in banks.
ATMGP subscribers having Standard Chartered ATM, Dutch Bangla Bank ATM, or Credit Card (Auto Debit), LankaBangla Finance (Auto Debit) and ETN E-Cash Card can pay their bills through ATM machines & the respective cards.
Auto Bills PayStandard Chartered account holders can avail the facility of “Auto Bills Pay”. The mentioned services require prior arrangement with respective bank & card authority.
Easy PayHSBC has 24-hours “Easy Pay” service for GP subscribers to pay their bills.
Internet BankingOffered exclusively for GP subscribers by Dutch Bangla Bank Ltd., Eastern Bank Limited and Commercial Bank of Ceylon.

 

VALUE ADDED SERVICES (VAS)

Now a day’s mobile phone is not only a communication device but also it can be used for many other purposes than making voice calls. Through GrameenPhone’s Value Added Services (VAS), subscribers can use their mobile phone to:

  • Send and receive Text Messages, Picture Messages, Voice Messages
  • Download Ring Tones, Logos, Wallpapers
  • Obtain News Updates, Cricket Score Updates
  • Browse the Internet and also send and receive E-Mails
  • Transfer Data and Send Fax
  • Participate in competitions and vote for your opinions

Subscribers can use all these services whenever they need, wherever they are. All they need is to have a GP mobile phone to get these services. Various Value Added Services offered by GP are discussed below:

GP INSTANT MESSAGING (IM)

GrameenPhone offers world’s latest innovation in mobile messaging for its subscribers. With this innovative service subscribers will be able to use PC style instant messaging and presence on mobile phones through GP’s own Chat Software. This also allows a GP user to chat with other IM buddies around the world. The unique features of Instant Messenger are:

  • GP To GP Chat
  • Broadcast Message
  • Off-Line Messages
  • Presence Status Display
  • Chat Rooms
  • Settings Wizard

MESSAGING SERVICES

There are three types of messaging services offered by GrameenPhone. These are Text Message (SMS), Multimedia Message (MMS) and Voice Message (VMS). More details of theses messaging services are discussed below:

Text Message (SMS)

GrameenPhone subscribers can send and receive text messages in any local or international mobile phone at a cheaper rate. Subscribers just need to open message Option from their handset, write new message, enter the recipient mobile number and press Send. One can send text message up to 160 characters to any mobile number. The Message Service Centre (SMSC) number is +8801700000600 and it is by default stored in all GP SIM card. Handset must be configured by this SMSC number to send text messages. Any GP user can also send SMS to more than 100 million GSM subscribers all over the world. It costs much less than making a call and is quite convenient to send. Sending International SMS is same as the local SMS. The only difference is, subscriber needs to enter the recipient’s mobile number with the Country Code with a +’ sign. For example, to send an SMS to Canada they need to enter the mobile number as +1 XXXXXXXXXX. Now a day’s text message service is very popular to the young generation of the country because of its cheaper rate.

Multimedia Message (MMS)

Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) is an exciting way to share special moments such as birthdays, weddings and holiday pictures with the loved ones. GrameenPhone subscribers can even send pictures and video clips to e-mail addresses. They can customize their messages with texts, pictures, animations, music, video clips (Up to 100 KB). They can also record special moments and save it for the future – in their phone, e-mail inbox or even mail it to another user.

Voice Message (VMS)

Voice SMS is another recent innovation of GrameenPhone. Voice SMS is a unique service which enables the subscribers to record a message or greeting and send it instantly. In order to sent a voice SMS subscribers just need to dial “*” followed by the desired number. After recording the voice within 30 seconds they will disconnect the line and the Voice SMS will automatically be delivered to his desired number. To hear a voice SMS subscriber just need to dial “*0*”. Beside this they can store up to 20 Voice SMS in their number.

SMS BASED ALERTS/SERVICES

GrameenPhone offers various Push Pull SMS based alerts and services for its subscribers. Some of the popular SMS Based Push Pull services are discussed here:

Cricket Alerts

GP subscriber’s can get cricket updates in their mobile phone by subscribing to Cricket Alert Service. To get the alert service, they need to type “CRIC ON” and send it to 2002. To unsubscribe from the service, type “CRIC OFF” and send it to 2002. Subscribers will get SMS alerts for fall of every wicket, milestones (like player or team 50s and 100s) and match summary.

Cricket Score Updates

Subscriber can also get the live scores through Push-Pull SMS, by typing “CRIC” and send it to 2002. In return they will get the updated scores.

More SMS Services

Subscribers can get information on updates of their Mobile Bills and various important and emergency Telephone Numbers like ambulances, hospitals, blood banks, police stations etc.

VOICE BASED SERVICES

GrameenPhone also offers various voice based services for its subscribers. Among these News Updates from the major TV channels and newspapers is most popular. Subscriber can also hear the latest national and international sports updates by dialing 2002.

INTERNET SERVICES (EDGE)

For the first time in the country, GrameenPhone brings EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) Service for its subscribers. EDGE is an advanced mobile technology which enables high speed mobile internet and data services. It is about 8 times faster than GPRS. Subscribers need to have an EDGE/GPRS and MMS enabled handset to send and receive MMS, connect to the Internet and download contents. Handset must also be configured to the GrameenPhone EDGE Network. GP is offering the following EDGE services:

  • Web surfing (Yahoo, Google etc);
  • Send and receive MMS (Pictures, Audio Clips, and Video Clips);
  • Download games, animations, wallpapers, video and audio clips, polyphonic tones, true tones, themes, color logos etc.
  • In addition, subscribers can also connect to the internet from their PC or laptop by using their handset as a modem.

 

Benefits of EDGE

  • Get internet access any time, remain connected all the time wherever they are, and have a great web surfing experience;
  • Surf the internet with super fast speed from their handset;
  • Browse contents more easily on mobile phone;
  • Send and receive E-Mails through mobile phone;
  • Send and receive Multimedia (Pictures, Sounds) Messages;
  • Download better quality contents such as high quality ring tones, wallpapers, songs, movie clips, videos, animated logos, and themes to customize handsets in many ways;
  • Receive incoming calls even while browsing. Once the call ends, the data transfer will resume automatically from the place it stopped.

 

TUNES & TONES

In Bangladesh GrameenPhone is the first operator to introduce caller tunes for the subscribers. The service is named as Welcome Tune and so far this is the most popular Value Added Service of GrameenPhone instead of its higher charge. Each time a caller call to a GP number (which is provisioned for Welcome Tune Service) will hear various popular songs, which are selected by the subscriber. Subscribers can select to play popular songs from wide range of latest Bangla, Hindi and English hits, Whacky Sounds or Pure Instrumental and many more. Subscribers can also record their own voice and play it for their friends. They can either set one common tune for all or customize a tune for individual callers.

Other than the above services GrameenPhone also offers various Push-Pull services in collaboration with various Mobile Phone Content Providers of the country.

 

VOICE MAIL SERVICE

The main feature of Voice Mail Service is, when the user is unavailable for any reason (Busy, Beyond Network Coverage and Mobile remain Switched-off etc), he can just divert his incoming calls to the desired option. Later on, the user can retrieve the caller’s number and/or any messages left by the caller during that unavailable period. All the GP subscribers can avail this service. To avail the service, subscribers just need to keep a request to any customer touch points (Call Center & Customer Center) and the customer service representative will activate Voice Mail Box of that respective mobile within 24 hours.

 

AUTOMATED TOOLS USED IN WORK

The following section contains basic information of some of the systems –

BSCS: The bill generating, connectivity and service controlling system for post-paid products. This system helps to visualize the generated bills of the subscribers as well as helps to provide connection and service barring and unbarring facilities.

FUP Tool: The web based tool that helps to visualize the generated bills of the subscribers of a particular post-paid product-Xplore 2..

Bar List Generation: This system helps the employees to keep records and visualize subscribers’ bill payment information.

MCRS: This system helps the employees to keep records and visualize subscribers’ payment posting information from bank.

SMSPAY: Using this system, the bill payment information are collected that subscribers used to send through short message service or SMS from their handsets.

VMSPAY: Using this system, the bill payment information are collected that subscribers used to send through voice message service or VMS from their handsets.

MINSAT: Like BSCS, MINSAT is the card recharging, connectivity and service controlling system for pre-paid products. This system helps to visualize the recharged, transferred and adjusted balance of the subscribers. It also provides connection and service barring and unbarring facilities.

Log View: The Log View shows the service requesting SMS that subscribers send to enable different pre-paid services like My Time, My Easy, My Choice, etc into their connection.

MCRSS: MCRSS is the other version of MCRS that helps to keep personal records of pre-paid subscribers and also to visualize them when necessary.

OSS View: OSS View shows every detail about the connection and service status of a particular subscriber’s SIM card.

EDGE GUI: This tool helps to see the EDGE service activation / deactivation status of a particular subscriber which can also be seen from the OSS View and BSCS.

OTA GUI: This tool is used to send handset configurations to the subscribers so that they can configure their handsets automatically according to the EDGE service requirements.

ERS GUI: This tool shows every details of balance transfer activities of GramennPhone’s subscribers. This also shows whether a subscriber’s balance transfer service is activated, blocked or canceled.

PRBT GUI: This tool is used to check the status of Welcome Tune service of a particular subscriber. It shows whether the service is on or off, activated or canceled.It also shows the song list of the subscribers and provides control to include or delete songs from the song list and to activate or deactivate the service manually.

CMD HelpDesk: The information web portal that contains service related information and important links of different tools, folders and files. Employees of different units of CMD, especially the Call Management Center uses this web portal frequently to provide accurate and instant service to the subscribers over the hot line.

IR Database: Another information web portal that only contains information related to International Roaming service.

CIMS: Mainly this tool is used to capture subscribers’ complains, requests and queries regarding GrameenPhone’s products and services. Other part of this tool provides the control to keep and visualize information regarding SIM card change/replacement and activation.

CSPT: Through this system, records of high end technical problem that can not be solved from CMD are kept and send to the concerned departments or divisions to solve them.

Agent Application: Agent Application is the automated system that is directly connected to the hot line of GrameenPhone. Basically it is used in the Call Management Center. Through this system, employees of the Call Management Center get connected to the hot line to provide customer service.

 

 

SWOT ANALYSIS OF GRAMEENPHONE

 STRENGTHS

  •  Market leader in Bangladeshi mobile market for a long period;
  •  Strong global reputation of the mother company-Telenor AS;
  •  Collaboration with internationally acclaimed Nobel Piece Prize winner Dr. Younus and Grameen Bank;
  •  Good Human Resource and Infrastructure Installation all over the country through Bangladesh Railway and Grameen Bank;
  •  Highest tax paying company of the country;
  •  Availability of Fiber Optic Backbone Network;
  •  Largest Geographical Coverage;
  • The first and only company which crossed the 10 million subscribers mark; at present their total subscriber is near about 13 million which is more than the total of other 4 operators subscriber base;
  • GrameenPhone is the only company which operates in rural areas of the country through the Village Phone Program;
  • Access to the widest rural distribution network through Grameen Telecom;
  • Wide operating span; all geographic segments are currently availing the products of GrameenPhone because of wide-uninterrupted network coverage and best customer service;
  • Double digit growth rate are targeted every year and attained;
  • The only company of the country which provides customer service 365 days of the year through hotline (121) and GrameenPhone Center (GPC);
  • Innovation has been a primary factor accounting for GrameenPhone’s success so far. GP has a wide range ofproducts and services to fulfill the demand of different age, sex and class of people. Moreover, the company has a strong reputation for offering innovative products and services;
  • The only operator which has service desk in almost every Upazilas (or Sub Districts) of the country;
  • GrameenPhone’s market share is more than double of its nearest competitor;
  • Strong nationwide marketing and distribution channels; GP has an active presence throughout the country;
  • Strong Brand Image and Awareness;
  • Loyal and large dealer base;
  • Strong employee bonding and belongingness is one of the major assets of the company. GrameenPhone employees have strong positive reputation in the society. They have strong sense of commitment towards organization and also feel proud and a sense of belonging towards GrameenPhone;
  • Comprehensive Knowledge of the local market and customers;
  • Ready to meet the challenges posed by the changing scenario in the cell phone industry and globalization of economies through effective succession plan; which has proven to be successful over the years. It’s a learning company where structures, systems and processes consistently evolve and are adapted to meet the changing requirements of the market;
  • GrameenPhone’s “Health Line Service” has recently awarded by the GSM Association for using mobile phone as an important tool of social development. GP is the only operator in the country which provides health line services through mobile phone.
  • The human resource of GrameenPhone is extremely well planned and perfectly managed. GP believes in empowering employees and the top management refuses to put their finger in every part of the pie. This empowered environment makes GP one of the best working places for the employees. Moreover, as GP is a multinational company, employees don’t want to leave their jobs because of the reputation outside and thus, the employee turnover rate is very low. The employees are not suffocated with authority but are able to grow as the company matures;
  • Excellent relationship with media, government and regulatory bodies (BTRC).

 

WEAKNESSES

  • Poor interconnection with BTTB is one of the great weaknesses of GP. 80% subscribers of GP are Smile M2M and Djuice user. But GrameenPhone is still unable to provide BTTB connectivity in these two popular products while other existing operators are providing BTTB accessibility to the majority of their subscribers;
  •  Complicated price structure of the products is another weakness for the company;
  •  Recent conflict with Dr. Younus regarding the share of GrameenPhone created negative impression about the company among Bangladeshi people.
  •  Lack of consistency and short duration of the promotional offers creates dissatisfaction among the customers;
  •  GrameenPhone’s call rate and price of the products are relatively higher than the competitors. Since Bangladeshi people are more price sensitive therefore GP’s high tariff plan influencing huge number of existing customer to switch in other operator;
  •  Although GrameenPhone serving all the geographic segments, but they are mostly concentrating on the market of major cities of the country.

 

 OPPORTUNITIES

  •  Huge growth of the telecommunication industry will help GP to capture more market share in upcoming years;
  •  Activities in most of the rural areas are very little; to increase substantial market share GP can focus on this segment and reduce threat of new entrance in the industry.
  •  GP has the opportunity to diversify in the corporate segment. They can focus on to capture the market share of the corporate segment by using their competitive advantages and good reputation;
  •  Declining price of the handset will increase the number of cell phone user in upcoming years. GrameenPhone can offer various handsets based promotional offer to utilize the opportunity;
  • The giant handset manufacturer Nokia is planning to establish their production plant in Bangladesh. GrameenPhone can offer their various offer in collaboration with Nokia;
  • Introduction of cell phone dependent projects like “Community Information Center (CIC)” and “Bills Pay” opened up massive opportunities for the company to earn huge revenues in the near future. Moreover the CIC project has already been considered as an important contribution to the rural and social development of the country.

 

 THREATS

  •  The entrance of world’s third largest telecommunication company “Warid Telecom” in the Bangladeshi market is a big threat for GrameenPhone. Warid Telecom has entered into the market with a huge amount of investment in order to capture the market share of GP and become the leading cell phone company of the country;
  •  Strict policy and monitoring of the government regulatory bodies are threatening the companies to operate efficiently;
  •  Recent price war and aggressive marketing of the competitors;
  •  Warid Telecom’s presence will generate more intense competition among the operators which ultimately may lead the company’s to merge in future;
  •  Government’s continuous pressure to introduce share in the stock market;

Until last few weeks, getting a mobile phone connection was not a problem for anyone as the mobile phone companies did not ask for much information from their customers. Now the government has ordered all the mobile companies to enlist their existing subscribers with detailed information so that the government can keep track if terrorists mobile phone for their destructive purposes. The government has also ordered the companies to follow this system for the new subscribers too. Since GrameenPhone’s subscriber base is higher than the total of all other operators’ subscriber therefore it has become a tough job for GP to enlist all the existing subscribers.

 

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Findings:

Working in Grameenphone Customer Service I have found that there are lots of work load on each and every customer manager as customers increasing a lot, comparing with that customer managers are not increasing. Another finding is at present more than 20 automated tools are running in customer service to support different activities and some of them are used in same functionalities.

 

Recommendations:

  1. Need to increase employee in customer service.
  2. It is necessary to find a single tool for a single function rather than using two or more automated tools for the same function.
  3. All the 20 automated tools may be combined as a single tool and only one window may be used for customer service.

 

CONCLUSION

Competition is increasing in cellular market day by day as there are mainly six companies are operating this business in Bangladesh. All of them are trying to increase their market share giving lots of facilities. In future as a market leader GrameenPhone Ltd. should focus more on customer service area to keep customers loyal. After a certain period the sale may decrease but importance on customer service will increase day by day.